Delivering services for the future of Fiji

December 20, 2022

Ms Kasanita Liku and Mr Seru Rakuro with their children Ulamila and Tevita.

Photo: UNDP

Kasanita and Seru, a young couple from Togobula village in the Nadroga Province on the main island of Viti Levu, wish for their children to grow healthy, be kind to others, study hard and engage in other positive lifestyle choices. Birth registration and registration for native land entitlement were the two ways to ensure security they aimed for their children’s future. 

The parents who are busy working hard for their children and families, were grateful when they were able to complete those procedures efficiently at a nearby community hall of Batiri village, Malomalo District on their precious day-off from work.

They were also able to access other services for their family such as applying for a free water tank, receiving medical check-ups and more without the hustle of travelling to and from town.

In Fiji, public services are usually made available for citizens at respective government offices located in different parts of a town centre. An application for a service at an office often requires multiple documents issued by different offices. It may take days and dollars to submit one application, particularly for those who live far from town with limited transport services. People whose livelihoods were affected by COVID-19 or communities hit by the severe Tropical Cyclones in 2020-2021 have found it harder to access services.

To make those services accessible for all citizens particularly in communities disadvantaged in doing so, service providers from government and civil society joined a community outreach programme to provide their services as a one-stop shop at the doorsteps of communities. The Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) programme is coordinated by the Fijian Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by the Government of Japan. 

The REACH programme, which has over 15 service providers gathered as a team, provided legal, social, health services and related awareness raising on citizens’ entitlements to more than 10 communities in Nadroga Province of Fiji over two-weeks in November 2022. Kasanita and Seru were among the members of communities who benefited from the programme.

Empower Pacific, one of the civil society organizations (CSOs) that participated in the REACH programme, provides psychosocial counselling and awareness sessions in partnership with government agencies. While delivering their services as part of the programme, Empower Pacific and the Department of Social Welfare received an urgent request to attend to a 12-year-old girl. The child was referred to the Department as she has been refusing to listen to her parents and stopped going to school. An initial counselling session was immediately provided to her and follow up support was scheduled. 

“The Department, working with counsellors, has been discussing with the girl’s parents to identify workable solutions prioritizing the best interest of the child,” said Mr. Sebasitiano Nauluiaki, Social Welfare Officer who attended the case.

Mr. Nauluiaki said that the Department has been receiving an increasing number of cases involving children. Typical cases relate to suicidal incidents, physical abuse by parents, and drug abuse by children.

Empower Pacific, a Fijian CSO, provides psychosocial counselling to individuals and groups.

Photo: UNDP

Outside the community hall, completing the applications for all the services she wanted, Kasanita sat with her husband and their two children, and enjoyed the rest of her day-off. “I want my children to become well educated and employed for a government job to serve our fellow Fijians, just like this REACH team is helping us in our communities,” she shared her wish as a parent.

The REACH programme has been delivering crucial public services at people’s doorsteps over the last seven years to enable all Fijians to enjoy their rights as guaranteed by the Fijian Constitution. It aims to support an integrated government system to strengthen its service delivery to the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in Fiji. The REACH programme has also been implemented in Tonga with focus on sustainable development of Tongan people overcoming the impact of COVID-19 and natural disasters.

For more information or media interviews please contact:

Tomoko Kashiwazaki, Communications and Advocacy, tel: 331 2500; email: